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Ford plans to extend Econetic technology

Date: 15 April 2008   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

De Waard

Ford is expected to take an "almost universal and mainstream" approach to expanding its range of low-CO2 Econetic models as the EU's 2012 average 130g/km target looms.

That was the verdict of Ford of Britain's managing director Roelant de Waard, whose comments come against the background of unexpectedly high demand for both the Econetic Focus and also the Econetic Mondeo due this summer.

De Waard admitted: "If present indications are right, there could well be a waiting list. Early requests equal annual production; we have to revisit our production capacities and consult suppliers, like the makers of energy-saving tyres."

De Waard also revealed that Ford was working on start-stop and regenerative braking and "other complementary technologies".

"Over time, Econetic will become almost universal and a mainstream product, but technology like start-stop and regenerative braking generate significant additional costs. They must come at an affordable price within a business case. The obvious imperative is that by 2012 we will have to reduce CO2 by 25%."

He added: "Government policy on taxation can determine when these introductions are right and viable. It is extremely important that Government provides clarity to consumers and fleet owners for a number of years and we know what costs to expect."

De Waard claimed Econetic's success was largely due to the £250 premium being offset by higher residuals as the value guides increasingly use CO2 ratings as a parameter for setting future values.

De Waard also confirmed that next year new Fiesta Econetic variant will have sub-100g/km figures, while the Kuga's 169g/km eclipses both the equivalent VW Tiguan and Ford's "target car" for the small 4x4, the Honda CR-V.